© 2017

Traumatic Memory and the Ethical, Political and Transhistorical Functions of Literature

  • Susana Onega
  • Constanza del Río
  • Maite Escudero-Alías

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Susana Onega, Constanza del Río, Maite Escudero-Alías
    Pages 1-17
  3. The Ideological and Aesthetic (Re)construction of Cultural Memory in Early Twentieth-Century Literature

  4. Ethical and Aesthetic Challenges in the Representation, Transmission and Teaching of the Holocaust

  5. Romance Strategies and Spectrality in the Fictional Representation of Traumatic Memories

  6. Dislocated Lives and Narratives: Hybridity, Liminality and the Testimonial Representation of Traumatic Memories in a Postcolonial Context

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 317-331

About this book


This volume addresses the construction and artistic representation of traumatic memories in the contemporary Western world from a variety of inter- and trans-disciplinarity critical approaches and perspectives, ranging from the cultural, political, historical, and ideological to the ethical and aesthetic, and distinguishing between individual, collective, and cultural traumas. The chapters introduce complementary concepts from diverse thinkers including Cathy Caruth, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Abraham and Torok, and Joyce Carol Oates; they also draw from fields of study such as Memory Studies, Theory of Affects, Narrative and Genre Theory, and Cultural Studies.

Traumatic Memory and the Political, Economic, and Transhistorical Functions of Literature addresses trauma as a culturally embedded phenomenon and deconstructs the idea of trauma as universal, transhistorical, and abstract.


Trama Cultural Memory Literature Memory Studies European Literature American Literature

Editors and affiliations

  • Susana Onega
    • 1
  • Constanza del Río
    • 2
  • Maite Escudero-Alías
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of English and German PhilologyUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of English and German PhilologyUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Department of English and German PhilologyUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

About the editors

Susana Onega is Professor of English Literature at the University of Zaragoza. She has written on the work of contemporary writers, narrative theory, and  ethics and trauma; and is the author of five monographs, including Form and Meaning in the Novels of John Fowles (1989, Winner of the Enrique García Díez Research Award), Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd (1999), and Jeanette Winterson (2006, Shortlisted for the European Society for the Study of English Book Award, 2008).

Constanza del Río is Senior Lecturer in British and Irish Literature at the University of Zaragoza. Her research centers on contemporary Irish fiction, narrative and critical theory, and popular narrative genres. She is co-editor of Memory, Imagination and Desire in Contemporary Anglo-American Literature and Film (2004).

Maite Escudero-Alías is Senior Lecturer at the University of Zaragoza, where she teaches English Literature. Her main research interests centre on contemporary literary criticism, feminism, queer and affect theory in literature, and culture. She is the author of Long Live the King: A Genealogy of Performative Genders (2009) and has published in the Journal of Gender Studies, The Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of Lesbian Studies, The Journal of Transatlantic Studies, and Journal of International Women’s Studies, among others. 

Bibliographic information


“The volume makes a very welcome contribution to the growing field of postcolonial trauma theory with a number of excellent individual contributions, well-supported by a focus on detailed close reading.” (Alexander Hope, Miscelánea, Vol. 60, 2019)